Archive for the ‘Ego’ Category


In all this ongoing back and forth between the liberal/progressive/Democrat blogs of Montana (the Great Flame War of 2011) one point that is yet to be made is the differing approach that the two parties seem to deal with internal dissent.  One party gives the impression of eagerly embracing the mutiny… while the other is trying to quickly stomp out the fire before it can spread.

What started as a grassroots movement from outside the ramparts of a party historically known for it’s discipline in pulling it’s member into line on issues; the Tea People’s anger, enthusiasm, and naivety was quickly capitalized upon by the Republican establishment and old guard power base.  Organizations that, at first ad-hoc groups meeting at coffee shops bitching about how the Republicans had betrayed their ideals, were quickly provided with organizational support, funds, and training from long-time Republican political operatives.  Nation-wide organizations were built by the likes of Dick Army and elected Republicans such as Michele Bachmann embraced the mass of angry white people produced by a steady diet of Fox News.

Now that the Tea People are well ensconced in the warm and loving embrace of the GOP guess what happens whenever the Tea People get all uppity?  Thats right… Boehner quickly folds and make overtures to please his new far right base.

Contrast this with the current approach that the mainline Democrats seem to want to take when dealing the more progressive/liberal/whatever side of the party…

This attitude comes straight from the top as Obama and his press secretary have said more than once that they are tired of the criticism coming from the left.  Other Democrats have used this type of language, calling liberals “extremists.”

 The same attitude has been on display recently on various Montana progressive blogs.  Pogie actually did a great job of getting to the issue and fostering a discussion around the role of dissension within a political party in shaping policy and strategy.  Others however have been eager to follow the STFU guidelines.  From LITW:

Here’s the dealio.  Democrats still have value.  I like Jon Tester, even more for taking action on wolf control dictated by the judiciary.  Don’t like that?  Tough shit.  Leave.  I like Barrack Obama.  I think he called out the Republicans and has played them very well.  Don’t like that?  Tough shit.  Leave.  Seriously.  You don’t like Democrats?  Leave, assholes.

The problem with the STFU/your-either-with-us-or-against-us type attitude is that people really do leave.  People will choose to vote for third party candidate like Nader when they get frustrated enough which then gives us 8 years of THE ADVENTURES OF BUSHIT AND TURD BLOSSOM .

If a party doesn’t listen to internal dissent and respond to the criticism by addressing people’s grievances then people leave.  The Republicants were electorally successful in the last cycle specifically because they embraced the crazy hidden within themselves and physically manifested as the Tea People.

Do we really want to put this at the entrance to the Democratic party?

by jhwygirl

In a post titled “Profiting from Hypocrisy“, blogger montanafesto exposes the troubled hypocrisy of Rep. James Knox and his pro-repeal medical marijuana stance. First the video:

Read montanafesto’s post. Rep. James Knox offered his services to a medical marijuana business, at a greatly discounted price because his business “was slow.”

There’s more – montanafesto takes Knox on in Facebook…and now, apparently, an email has been removed from the website because Knox was threatening his lawyers.

Neither here nor there, now…the Billings Gazette has picked up the story.

Wonder if Knox has threatened to sue them, too?

So all this insane personal intrusion schizophrenic state-rights/anti-state rights Montana Republican party-led legislating has me now more than just barely pondering: What is it these guys and gals are doing up there? Rep. Warburton is obsessed with making my vagina a crime scene….Rep. Kristin Hansen wants to treat LGBTQ human beings as something less than such, and now we have Knox falling all over himself to provide discounted services to the medical marijuana community.

What is it they say? People in glass houses should not be throwing rocks?

What else is there to explain this regressive hate-filled legislation? There’s a ton of it out there.

Kuddos to you, montanafesto!

By Duganz

Kill a person and you’ll go to jail for life. Kill an entire town and, well, it’s a different story. Today is the anniversary of just such a crime.

Thirty years ago oil conglomerate Atlantic Richfield Company drove a knife into the side of Anaconda, Montana–my hometown. I wasn’t alive to see the looks on people’s faces that day, but the look has never fully left. Twelve-hundred people lost their jobs, and the town lost a lifeline.

That’s not something that goes away, maybe ever.

In my mind Anaconda hearkens back to a different America, one that fueled an industrial boom and a daunting suburban sprawl––company people in a company town. You see it everywhere: Flint, Detroit, Pittsburgh, and New Jersey. The cookie-cutter homes lining the cookie-cutter streets, now slowly decaying as those better days recede further into the past. These were places where guys who couldn’t turn out court briefs, but could turn a wrenches, were welcome; a place where collars were bluer than any nearby water. Conjure to mind your favorite Norman Rockwell… that was Anaconda. It is a perfect representation of the 1950s Pop Culture zeitgeist.

After the Washoe Smelter closed there came a mass exodus of desperate people who took to the road looking for a future in a crumbling American economy (sound familiar?), and a changing world they were no longer meant for. Conjure if you will another stark American image: The Grapes of Wrath.

Those who stayed behind gobbled up what jobs they could to keep themselves going, holding out hope for more jobs that never have returned in quite the fashion everyone was hoping for.

Deer Lodge County lost 66 percent of it’s tax base in 1980, and recovery has been long and hard, and not entire. I remember when my Dad, who until recently worked as a CNA at Montana State Hospital, got a pay raise in 1994 and announced that he was finally making what he did when he worked on the Smelter in 1978. That’s a tough show to watch, and a tough reality to grow up in.

If prosperity was trickling down during the 80s and 90s, Anaconda was nowhere near the faucet. Makes one wonder what Reagan was thinking when he proclaimed it Morning in America back in 1984. Maybe it was morning somewhere – like on Michael Eisner’s yacht – but in Anaconda, Montana it was night, and a cloudy one at that.

*** Continue Reading »

by jhwygirl

I used an old article for the 6-4 vote…and I can’t find what the vote was in the Missoulian. When I can clarify that, I will. It appears there are several versions of what the final vote was on Apostle’s raise.

Missoula citizens and Missoula County Public Schools (MCPS) teachers alike aren’t too pleased with the Missoula County School Board’s recent 6 to 4 vote to approve what amounts to a 20% pay hike to Superintendent Alex Apostle’s compensation.

Apostle will now make $155,000 a year – he’ll get an annual automobile reimbursement of $12,000 and an annual contribution to his tax-sheltered annuity to $9,996.

Sweet, huh? In this economy? In a county where the median household income is about $35,000?

Let’s give some credit where credit is due, too – trustees Rick Johns, Kelley Hirning, Drake Lemm and Adam Duerk opposed the pay hike.

Yeah, yeah – that’s right….j-girl is agreeing with something Drake Lemm did.

Citizens and teachers alike will be on hand tomorrow, starting sometime before 5 p.m. to let the school board members know what they think of their 6 to 4 vote for a 20% hike in Apostle’s compensation. 5 p.m. is the public meeting for the budget hearings and there is no agenda set. At 6 p.m. is the regular monthly meeting of the Board of Trustees, and the agenda for that meeting can be found here.

The meeting is at 915 South Avenue.

In related news:

Nancy Pickhardt? Don’t Let the Door Hit Ya Where the Good Goddess Split Ya

Nancy Pickhardt is a school board trustee. An elected official. She has a potty mouth, and no respect for the people that elected her.

No only that, she isn’t very smart.

A deadly combination of attributes to have, IMNSHO.

I have no doubt that elected officials get mad and frustrated. But leaving a message on a phone messaging system – whether you know them or not – and telling them to “Go #!&$ yourself!” is a whole bunch of messed up arrogant stupidity.

It’s one thing to think it….it’s one thing even to say it out loud – but to hear the beep of a messaging system and to actually leave that kind of message? Seriously?

Makes you wanna see her emails, doesn’t it.

Time for Nancy Pickhardt to go. Her arrogance for the voters is dangerous. Can we recall her? Someone should look into it, because I get the sense that she doesn’t give a you-know-what what the voters think of her and her representation on the Board of Trustees.

by jhwygirl

…and for that ever-so-brief reprise from Michael Jackson.

Plenty’s been written out there – hell, some people are even wondering why she did it. Me? I merely grateful and hope it is a harbinger of her truly floating down that stream like a dead fish.

NYTimes opinion section had two great pieces (at least) since her bizarre press conference, both of which were quite entertaining. I wanted to share.

Gail Collins’ Sarah’s Straight Talk included a few gems, including this one:

Smiling manically, she looked like a parody of the woman who knocked the Republicans dead at their convention. She babbled about her parents’ refrigerator magnet, which apparently had a lot of wise advice. And she recalled her visit with the troops in Kosovo, whose dedication and determination inspired her to … resign.

Then there was Maureen Dowd’s Now, Sarah’s Folly, who kicks it off with this gem:

Sarah Palin showed on Friday that in one respect at least, she is qualified to be president.

Caribou Barbie is one nutty puppy.

Usually we don’t find that exquisite battiness in our leaders until they’ve been battered by sordid scandals like Watergate (Nixon), gnawing problems like Vietnam (L.B.J.), or scary threats like biological terrorism (Cheney).

Good funny reads for your Sunday evening enjoyment. Anyone got more that shouldn’t be missed? Please, add them in the comments. I’m in need of some funnies.

On another note – my prediction is that there is another scandal brewing in Wasilla – which is probably why she is probably why she is looking forward to heading out to sea.

by jhwygirl

Both McCain and Obama have met with come-lately alternative energy financier T. Boone Pickens. Pickens, if you haven’t heard, is author of The Pickens Plan, an aggressive plan to move at least 20% of our electricity power to wind energy, and moving more of our resources towards producing biomass fuels, thereby reducing independence on foreign oil. He’s also been a major donor to Republican campaigns, funneling $3 million to the 527 that swiftboated John Kerry, and $2.5 million to Karl Rove’s Progress for America.

Not only did he play a large part in the swiftboating of John Kerry, he offered up a $1 million dollar challenge to anyone that could prove that what was alleged was false. John Kerry himself took him up on the offer, and Pickens reneged.

Pickens’ plan is great, if not noble. I got no gripe about wind energy, nor the desire to move the U.S. away from powering electricity with things like coal. What bothers me about The Pickens Plan is that the reality is that it’s all about T. Boone Pickens – he’s been buying up large tracts of wind-rich land from Texas to North Dakota. His television ads, and even his website, come off as a Me First, energy second…I mean, just look at the title.

Pickens has said he will spend $58 million promoting his plan.

I guess if he’s got it to spend, why not. That kind of cash should keep more than a few people employed, right?

It’s hard for me to latch onto Pickens – his history and his showmanship all send up a great big ole’ warning flag for me – and with him so publicly hedging his bets, exhibited by seeking out both Obama and McCain – makes him and his plan all the more suspicious.

by Rebecca Schmitz

It’s come to our attention (after only four days–good thing none of us are getting paid to do this) you rascals voted us “Best Local Blog” in the Missoulian’s 2008 Missoula’s Choice awards. Second place went to and third to our friends at Gosh. Thank you very much.   You guys are awesome, too.  Although, I have to admit it–I’m questioning some of your other choices.  (Really, Missoula?  Starbucks has the best coffee?)

Now, what should we wear to the awards ceremony? Do we all look good in formal wear?

by jhwygirl

State Republican Chairman Erik Iverson paints an absolutely rosy picture of the state’s Republican chances to grab up – at least – 3 of the 5 seats which comprise the State Land Board.

Iverson said he believes Montana Republicans have an excellent chance to control the Montana Land Board for the first time since 1992. That would mean winning three out of these five races: governor, attorney general, auditor, superintendent of public instruction and secretary of state.

Iverson seems to paint his hopes on State Auditor, Attorney General and Secretary of State. The Republicans currently have no challenger for School Superintendent.

Both the State Auditor and the Attorney General seats are being vacated by term-limited Mike McGrath and John Morrison.

There are two challengers for State Auditor – Rep. Monica Lindeen (D – Huntley) and former Sen. Duane Grimes (R- Clancy). Clancy lost to Morrison in 2004. Lindeen ran against Rehberg in 2006, in a race where the state’s Democratic party were almost wholly focused on unseating Conrad Burns. Iverson is banking on Grimes, saying “He’s run before and knows what it takes.”

There are 3 Democrats and 2 Republicans running for Morrison’s seat. Money is the winner in this race according to Iverson:

Iverson said whoever emerges from the Democratic primary will be “a great competitor and probably will be a little beaten up and not have much money. The Republican primary winner probably will have more money and be more politically stable than the Democratic candidate,” he said.

It is a sad reality when all a candidate or party chair can rest on is $.

But do tell, Erik Iverson – what is it, exactly, that the State Land Board has been failing at doing? What agenda is it that the MT GOP has for the state’s lands? Is big industry whining? Do they miss their “lap dogs”?

Follow the money, I guess, and maybe we’ll find out.

by Jay Stevens

You know, I’m not real keen on articles or reports that generalize about any particular generation – after all, there are millions of us out there doing our own thing. But…still…then there’s something like this, “Will the Real Generation Obama Please Stand Up?,” by Lakshmi Chaudhry, which, well, kinda sorta nails my particular generation – “Generation X” – and its path to politics…

So forgive the indulgence of this post. If you’re offended by self-obsession, move on. I’ve been curious about how I got where I am – I’m only a recent newcomer to politics and its wrangling – how the h*ll did it happen? And this article answers that question in a way…

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